denuded oranges 820

Honey Sweetened Cara Cara Orange Jam

Back in mid-February, my husband and I made our quarterly trek out to Costco. We got necessary items like toilet paper and dishwasher tablets, as well as a number of not-so-necessary things like 96 ounces of dried blueberries and ten pounds of Cara Cara oranges.

I adore Cara Caras for their pink flesh and sweet/tart flavor. But as the sole fruit eater in my household, ten pounds is a lot to move through in a timely fashion. A preserving project was in order.

cara cara oranges

My natural first thought was marmalade, but it’s an awful lot of work and my time was decidedly short. Then I remembered citrus jam. It’s something I’ve made in the past with grapefruit to delicious results and I had a feeling that it would work just as well with the Cara Cara oranges.

segmented oranges

There’s still a bit of knife work to be done with orange jam, but it’s far less fiddly. You cut the tops and bottoms off the fruit and then cut away the peel to reveal the fruit inside. Once the citrus sections are bare, you use a sharp knife to segment (or supreme, if you want to use the fancy term) out the pieces.

cooked orange jam

When you’re all done, you should have a number of beautiful orange half moons, a stack of peels, and a limp pile of membranes and seeds. I like to pack the peels into a large jar and cover them with white vinegar. After a couple weeks of steeping, you’ll have orange-scented vinegar cleaner.

orange peels in vinegar

I sweetened my jam with honey, because I like to avoid refined sugar when possible. However, if honey isn’t your thing, you could also use 2 cups of sugar. If you do opt for the honey, make sure to use one that has a mild flavour, so that it doesn’t overpower the flavour of the fruit.

finished orange jam

Honey Sweetened Cara Cara Orange Jam
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Recipe type: Jam
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 1 1/2 pints
Use up the last of the winter citrus with a recipe for honey-sweetened Cara Cara Orange Jam.
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds Cara Cara oranges
  • 1 1/3 cups mild honey
  • juice of one lemon
Instructions
  1. Prepare 3 half pint jars and lids. Because this is a small batch, the yield might vary a little. I’ve made it once where I got three half pint jars, and another time I only got two half pints and one quarter pint.
  2. Trim off the tops and bottoms of the oranges and cut away the peels. Using a sharp knife, separate the orange flesh from the membranes. Make sure to work over a bowl or measuring cup, so that you can catch all the juice. Once you’ve removed all the fruit from the membranes, give them a good squeeze over your bowl to wring out the last of the juice.
  3. Measure out four cups of the segmented fruit and juice. Add the honey and stir until it dissolves into the fruit.
  4. Pour the fruit and honey mixture into a low, wide pan or skillet and place over medium high heat.
  5. Bring to a boil and cooking, stirring regularly, until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken.
  6. You know it’s done when you can pull your spatula through the cooking jam and it doesn’t immediately rush into fill the space you cleared.
  7. Stir in the lemon juice in the last minute or two of cooking.
  8. When jam is finished, remove the pan from the heat. Funnel the jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  9. When time is up, remove jars from canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
  10. Once jars have cooled enough to handle, check the seals. If they are good, the jam is shelf stable for up to a year. If any jars do not seal, put them in the fridge and use promptly.
Notes
Yield will range between 2 and 3 pints. I like to prepare two half pint jars and two quarter pint jars, to account for the variability.

 

I like this jam for sweetening plain yogurt or spreading into English muffins or scones. How would you use it?

About Marisa

Marisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated small batch canner who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her jams, pickles and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first book, titled Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.

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Comments

  1. This is perfect! I just got 2 bags of oranges last night in my co-op box. My son doesn’t like a lot of jams, but told me he would try orange. How nice to wake up to a recipe ready to go. =) Thanks!

  2. Casey DelliCarpini says:

    Quick question – 4 pounds of oranges to start, or 4 pounds of the flesh to use? As I’m typing this, I’m sort of realizing the silliness of the question, (4 pounds of flesh is a lot!), but I’m going to go ahead and post it anyway!

  3. I bought that same big box of oranges at costco, but jam never occurred to me. This sounds delicious! I’ve been making a lot of strawberry orange sorbets for dessert . . . but it really is a big box of oranges – sounds like jam is in order.
    Allison’s last post: Lemon Basil Pizza with Spinach and Mozzarella

  4. Two things I love about this particular recipe/post:
    You sweeten the jam with honey! I think I will be doing that next time. And the peels in vinegar to scent “eco” cleaning products. Thanks for the ideas!
    Letty Flatt’s last post: Chayote Chile Soup

  5. This jam sounds absolutely lovely. I adore citrus! And great idea for the homemade cleaner too!
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe’s last post: Fresh Citrus Margaritas

  6. I’ve always wanted to make jam, but whenever my mom made jam when I was a kid, she would ALWAYS burn it. So I guess I always assumed it was hard. I think that I should try it out though. This looks great by the way!
    ATasteOfMadness’s last post: Oreo Peanut Butter

  7. Mary Beth Lynn says:

    Under notes…..yield 2 to 3 pints? Should say half pints ……right? Its on the stove right now

  8. I’ve not had much luck at supreming oranges… what would happen if I didn’t do it and left the membranes on?

  9. I came upon this recipe just when I was wondering if I would be able to eat the Cara Cara oranges that I had left over from a 5 pound bag before they spoiled. I ended up cutting the recipe in half and used 2 pounds of oranges and 1 cup of organic sugar. It turned out absolutely delicious! And since I use vinegar for a lot of my household cleaning, I love the orange-scented vinegar. Thanks for a great recipe! This will go in my rotation for the end of next winter too, so I can enjoy Cara Caras even after their season is past.

  10. I love homemade jams! All I want now is cara cara oranges … but this is the Midwest, so wish me luck in finding them! :-D
    Kate @ Diethood’s last post: Lemon Chicken Fettuccine

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